A group of 15 people protested inaccessible housing at City Hall on Sept. 13. The windy Fredericton weather, picking up fountain water and spraying it across the courtyard was not enough to keep protesters away.
The protest was organized by Cassie Tyre, Jessica Trueman and NBCC student Madison MacFarlane.
“When we are having to sacrifice bare necessities just to keep a roof over our head, I don’t think that’s right,” Tyre, 20, said.
The protest happened from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The protesters held signs and wore shirts that read sayings like “affordable housing is a human right.” They also had bags of pet food, feminine products and other hygiene necessities to hand out to those in need.
A lot of the donations came from members of the Facebook group called “Protesting Inaccessible Housing in Fredericton and Surrounding Area.”
MacFarlane created the group, which has 951 members.
“It’s basically just people posting their struggles and also everyone trying to help everyone,” she said.
MacFarlane grew up low-income which showed her the need for affordable housing in Fredericton. Her experience led her to create the Facebook group to connect with others who felt a similar way and organize a protest.
Tyre said Fredericton needs a better network for the homeless population and those who can’t work due to mental health or injury.
“If you need assistance, you need a billing address. You need an address to get on assistance in the first place,” Tyre said.
Tyre said even if you can’t afford to give monetary donations or buy physical donations to help the homeless, there are other ways to help.
“If you’re planning on selling some clothes, some you know warm winter clothes right when it starts to go winter, maybe if you don’t need the money, offer some resources either directly to the homeless population or to places like the food bank.”
MacFarlane and Tyre said it’s not always students who rent an apartment and split the cost in equal parts. A lot of the time, single mothers are looking for multiple bedroom apartments but the price is too high.
Tyre said she wanted the protest to open the eyes of the public to the issues surrounding homelessness and inaccessible housing in Fredericton.
“I want to at least turn heads; I want people to think,” Tyre said.
Group member Nicky Lang posted a letter in the Facebook group for people to fill out and send to their local politicians in an attempt to raise awareness about inaccessible housing in Fredericton.
“The catchphrase that I’ve been saying [is] every person is a person and every person deserves a home,” Tyre said.
“I just think it’s good to get the ball rolling because if we don’t, who will?”